General Characteristics of Coal

  • L. Douglas Smoot


Coal is a black, inhomogeneous, organic fuel, formed largely from partially decomposed and metamorphosed plant materials. Formation has occurred over long time periods, often under high pressures of overburden and at elevated temperatures. Differences in plant materials and in their extent of decay influences the components present in coals, such as vitrain (from “vitro” meaning glass), clarain (from “dare” meaning clear or bright), durain (from “dur” meaning hard or tough), and fusain (meaning charcoal). Descriptions of such coal components are part of the science of petrography.(1)


Bituminous Coal Coal Dust Coal Rank Coal Structure Pulverize Coal 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Douglas Smoot
    • 1
  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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